Over the weekend, we hopped on the shinkansen (bullet train) over to Kyoto, but before we did so, we grabbed a bowl of the most delicious dipping ramen at Tokyo Station’s ramen street. I highly recommend Rokurinsha, but do allow extra time for the line can be long. Wandering the Gion district of Kyoto, we marveled at the city’s high regard for tradition and on certain streets it seemed as if time stood still, and the quaint wooden homes and shops had remained untouched by time. A crane perched along the creekside gazing at its own reflection while a newlywed couple swathed in beautiful traditional silk hurried by, trailed by an entourage of family and friends.
We spotted a gathering of students and tourists waiting for a glimpse of the geishas, who were expected to appear soon, all dressed for an evening out. We waited with them, of course, and when the ladies finally appeared, they quickly walked – no glided – ever so gracefully and ducked into a waiting car.
In the early evening light, we walked over to Maruyama Park and enjoyed the tastiest green tea soft serve cone along the way. Once inside the park, we spied the last of the sakura against a backdrop of brilliant orange pillars and lampposts that decorated the park’s wooden structures. It was a beautifully tranquil place to be at dusk.